Free-Agency is starting to cool down, and after a crazy week, the 2014 NFL Draft is starting to become more clear. Here are my latest selctions
1. Texans= Teddy Bridgewater - QB: Every one is assuming that Clowney or Blake Bortles will be the first pick, but honestly, I don't see it happening. Clowney isn't a fit in their 3-4 defense, and the Texans already have a strong defense. Bortles is athletic, but he has rough footwork, and he needs a lot of polishing. The Texans need someone who can contribute right away, and Bridgewater is the only QB who can really do that. He played in a Pro-Style offense at Louisville, and he has a uncanny ability to digest defenses and process information quickly. His intangibles and leadership will instantly make the Texans a Playoff Team again.
2. Rams= Sammy Watkins - WR: Sam Bradford can be a good QB, but he needs weapons. Tavon Austin is lethal in the Slot, but they need a Outside WR to compliment him. Sammy Watkins has everything an Elite WR needs, his speed, route running, and play-making ability will finally help Sam Bradford reach his full potential. The Combination of Zac Stacy, Tavon Austin, and Watkins would transform the Ram's offense into one of the league's best.
3. Jaguars= Johnny Manziel - QB= Sure, they could really use Jadevon Clowney to help fix one of the League's worst defenses, but this team simply isn't going anywhere without a reliable QB. Gus Bradley likes mobile QB's, and there's no one better at that than Manziel. He has a strong arm, good footwork, and obviously has that mobility that enables him to make highlight reel plays. Manziel's ability to extend plays and move the chains will help the Jaguars climb out of the NFl's basement. His size and character questions certainly make this pick a risk, but Jacksonville needs him badly.
4. Browns= Jadevon Clowney - DE= The Browns sorely need a QB, but Brian Hoyer played well late in the season, and the combination of Josh Gordon and Jordan Cameron will make any QB better than he really is. For now, the Browns can get by with Hoyer. I actually like him as a QB. Their defense was painfully average last season, and they lacked a legit pass-rush. Clowney will bring that defense together, and give them an identity. His freakish combination of speed and power will go a long way in helping the Browns snap out of their endless depression.
5. Raiders= Derek Carr - QB= Carr might be a Major reach here, but the Raiders need a QB, and there are reports the Raiders love Carr. Pryor was pathetic, we all saw that when he faced the Giants. They need a QB, desperately. Matt Schaub is only a one-year stopgap. Derek Carr is the QB the Raiders have lacked for years. He's a pure-pocket passer, and has very little mobility or footspeed. But that's not really what matters. He has strong arm, good short to intermediate accuracy, and he always puts the ball in the right spot for the WR, which is why he threw for 50 TD's his senior year. He doesn't have great deep-ball accuracy, but he'll keep the offense flowing with short, quick passes down the field. Lastly, he's smart. He won't force any passes, and would much rather take a sack than risk a turnover. He can learn from Schaub his rookie year, and then start later on. In my personal opinion, Carr is the best QB in this draft.
6. Falcons= Jake Matthews - OT= The Falcons need to protect their 100 Million dollar investment in Matt Ryan. He's a great QB, but last season, the Offensive Line gave him very little time to get the ball down the field to Roddy White. That's why they struggled so much. Ryan was running for his life on every dropback. Matthews will buy him more time, and improve their horrid rushing game. He's a pure technician, and has the ability to contribute right away. Jake Matthews is a better pass-protector than Greg Robinson, and the Falcons are a Pass-First team. That's why It's more crucial to pick a pass-protecting OT like Matthews rather than a Run-Mauler like Robinson, Matthews is the safest pick in the draft, and his presence will help the Falcons return to the Playoffs,
7. Bucs= Khalil Mack - OLB= Lovie Smith is now the Head Coach in Tampa Bay. He's always been a defensive guy, and he's gonna want some tools to improve one of the League's weakest defenses. Khalil Mack is the perfect guy for them. First off, he wreaks havoc behind the line of scrimmage thanks to his powerful hands and knifing speed. Second, his playmaking ability will create turnovers, which the Bucs sorely lacked last year. Lastly, he also has the ability to dropback in coverage. That's key, since the Bucs face Drew Brees, Matt Ryan, and Cam Newton six times a year. Mack is a complete and devastating player that the Bucs can't pass on. Michael Johnson and Mack coming off the edge will terrify opposing offenses for years to come.
8. Vikings= Blake Bortles= The Vikings need a QB. Matt Cassel and Josh Freeman aren't the answer. The Vikings have a lot of talent on offense, but they lack a QB to glue it all together. Bortles is raw, and his footwork is weak, but he has good upside, and with some coaching, he can be one of the better QB's in the NFL. He'll get plenty of help from Peterson, Kyle Rudolph, and Cordarrelle Patterson.
9. Bills= Greg Robinson - OT= EJ Manuel played well when he was healthy, but he never seemed to be healthy. That was mainly because he played behind a leaky Offensive line, one that allowed him to take too many hits. Greg Robinson will help with that. He's a better run-blocker than a pass-blocker, but he can still protect Manuel very well, and he'll open up huge holes for CJ Spiller and Fred Jackson. Robinson's freakish athleticism for his size will allow him to be a dominant player for many years.
10. Lions= Justin Gilbert- CB= The Lions have a talented front four, but they get very little time to get to the passer, since the Lion's secondary is so pathetic. They've lost countless games over the years due to that secondary. Gilbert will help solve that problem. His size and speed will enable him to be a force against the pass. His return game will also help solidify one of the NFL's weakest return units. The lions may chase a WR with this pick, but they got Golden Tate in free agency, and have a rising star in youngster Kris Durham.
11. TItans= Anthony Barr- OLB= The Titans are switching to a 3-4 defensive set, and right now, they lack any pass-rushing LB's. A 3-4 lives and dies on pass-rushing LB's .There's no-one left in free-agency, so they have to turn to the draft. Anthony Barr is arguably the best pure LB in this draft, but he is raw, and needs to learn some more pass-rushing moves. Still, Barr fits need and value, so he's the best option for the Titans here.
12. Giants= In this draft, I have Aaron Donald, Eric Ebron, Mike Evans, Taylor Lewan, and Kony Ealy falling to the 12th overall pick. This is a dream scenario for the Giants. Any player they pick here will undoubtedly contribute right away and help the Giants improve on a 7-9 record. In order to decide what player is best for the Giants, you have to look at the current depth chart and the draft's depth at said position. I'll take it player by player. Taylor Lewan is a good player, but something tells me that the Giants won't go Offensive-Line in the first round. Plus, his character concerns are too much for me. Eric Ebron is the draft's best TE, but I also don't see the Giants picking him. He can't block, which is something that the Giants look for. Also, he has a tendency to drop balls, and his route-running is weak. I don't like him that much. Kony Ealy is a great DE, which is why he merits consideration here. He has a good blend of speed and power, and he can replace Tuck easily. I would definitely consider him here. Mike Evans is a player I love. He has the best hands since Megatron. His size and speed allows him to catch any ball within 10 feet of him, and he poses a major threat in the red zone. He's the type of massive WR that Eli can just throw up the ball to. Aaron Donald is an undersized but explosive DT. He wrecks havoc behind the line of scrimmgae, but he can get stonewalled by double teams and get flushed out in the run game. Still, he's an explosive player that reminds me of Geno Atkins. After assessing all the players, my pick is Aaron Donald. He will provide an explosive presence on our D-Line and take pressure off our DE's. A healthy JPP, Hankins, and Donald together will be nearly unblockable. Kony Ealy is a bit of a reach here and his technique is lacking. Mike Evans is an amazing player, but the Giants can get a Similar player later in the draft, like Donte Moncrief.